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Inspiring Views from «a' the airts» on Scottish Literatures, Art and Cinema

The First World Congress of Scottish Literatures in Glasgow 2014


Klaus Peter Müller, Ilka Schwittlinsky and Ron Walker

Where do Scottish literatures, art, and cinema stand today? What and how do Scottish Studies investigate? Creative writers and scholars give answers to these questions and address vital concerns in Scottish, British, and European history from the Union debate and the Enlightenment to Brexit, ethnic questions, and Scottish film. They present new insights on James Macpherson, Robert Burns, John Galt, J. M. Barrie, Walter Scott, James Robertson, war poetry, new Scottish writing, and nature writing. The contributions highlight old and new networking and media as well as the persistent influences of the past on the present, analyzing a wide range of texts, media and art forms with approaches from literary, cultural, media, theatre, history, political, and philosophical studies.

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Ideologies Inked In: Scotland’s Culture of Print in the Union Debate of 1706 (Alastair J. Mann)


Alastair J. Mann (Stirling)

Ideologies Inked In: Scotland’s Culture of Print in the Union Debate of 1706

Abstract: The Anglo-Scottish parliamentary Union of 1707 was with the tri-centenary subject to considerable academic investigation. A range of new political studies emerged along with more populist commentary, and some historiographical conclusions have clashed with popular politics. This contest gained renewed focus during the independence referendum campaign in Scotland in 2014 where some claimed an unbalanced media was at work. This essay will explore the nature of the print culture of Scotland in the crucial four months of 1706/7 when the Scottish Parliament debated the Treaty of Union.

On 3 October 1706 the Scottish Parliament began a new session where the articles of Anglo-Scottish parliamentary Union were debated and voted on one by one. On that cold autumn day as the elected (shire and burgh commissioners) and summoned (nobles) of the Scottish estates gathered in Edinburgh, what was the political temperature? The imminent printing of one of the Earl of Cromarty’s popular pro-Union tracts Trialogus: a conference betwixt Mr. Con, Mr. Pro and Mr. Indifferent, concerning the union (1706), through its very title, captured the atmosphere of feverish and at times perplexing debate.1 As with the referendum campaign for a fully independent Scottish parliament in 2014, a political watershed had been reached which even the normally disengaged could not ignore. All parliamentarians who met in 1706 were united in one particular sense, however – the status quo, the...

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